Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Tuesdays are about doing. My to-do list sprawls in my mind, little tasks slipping away, returning. Cleaning the yard, mowing. My husband wants me to backup old computers as he has his own revamp project ahead of him.

Our furniture has been shape shifting, too. Perhaps this change in vocation simply needs to come with the overhaul at home. Kelly came for a visit this past weekend, and she finally could see some physical changes in my cleaning efforts--a vanished bookcase, and soon, a vanished media stand. Ryan had this gigantic thing he and his buddy Dan bought at Menard's, which has followed us from Winona and has finally been replaced by this more manageable media stand.

Yesterday brought my first class meetings full circle--Mondays involve an evening class called Reading Across Genres. It's all thirteen first year MFAers; it's designed for us to meet the professors and essentially discuss who we are as people who write, how we fit into the writing world.

I'm not sure where that is exactly, and I know I have felt humbled at this luxurious opportunity I've been given. I assume, at some point, this new shape of daily life begins to feel ordinary? I feel a bit unworthy at the moment--this slot that might have gone to someone else, these three years where I'm focusing on writing and not on, you know, paving streets or something of physical change. I've been turning this over in my mind--the way the banker looked at me when I told her I was going to spend three years in the field of poetry. How do you respond to that? That look? What do you say when she tells you some famous, wealthy businessperson is also a poet, so that could be a good defense down the road? (Because, miraculously, I too want a Fortune 500 company to run...?) I think it's always a debate of justification--why should I even feel compelled to justify my choice? Why does everyone in the arts have to justify their choice? (Yes, I recognize that talent must be involved in the equation, and indeed, I have yet to prove if that is so, and I know that money is also involved in that look, but. But.)

Right now, it feels as if this decision I made makes the most sense in the world. I may discount my belonging in the place where I am, but I do not discount the choice. While I had a good place at the high school, I don't regret leaving. My heart feels good because of it.

1 comment:

hb said...

Hello - I came across your blog through Flickr and was thrilled to discover you're in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. I am looking to apply there (though for the English PhD, not creative writing) for next Fall and I'd love to find out more about your experience in the department so far, if you'd be willing. If so, my name is Heather and my email is heathersb@gmail.com.

Nice to e-meet you :)